Don't Believe Everything You Read
I sat on the beach listening to my older than dirt iPod, watching the waves crash into the beach. In and out, in and out, it was soothing, putting my mind at rest. This is why I packed up everything I owned and hitched a ride to Hollywood. I love the beach; I love to people watch, but most of all I love the industry. Not that I'm part of the industry, although I did give it a go... it just never went. So here I am, feet buried in the sand, wasting time between my two jobs that barely pay the bills.
I was just about to get up and search out a snack to replace my missed lunch when I saw him. He wore a sweatshirt with the hood up, covering most of his face, and he was coming right towards me. I didn't realize he was speaking to me until he pointed to his wrist.
"Oh," I said, quickly removing my ear buds. That was when I heard his smooth voice; it sounded familiar, but I couldn't quite place it.
"Do you have the time?" he asked, once again pointing to his wrist.
"Yeah, lemme just find my watch," I said, rummaging around in my purse.
"Thanks," he replied, "I left my phone in my car; I didn't want to lose it on the beach."
After what felt like forever digging in my bag, I felt his eyes on me, and I looked up. "Sorry, I know it's in here somewhere... I never wear it cuz I just bang it around at work all day."
"I know... you made me the best Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato last week," he confessed.
"Oh, you come into Starbucks?" I replied, squinting up at him, trying to get a better view of his face, but he was standing right in front of the sun.
"I do ... you don't remember? " he sounded genuinely surprised. I immediately hoped I hadn't spilled his drink on him or something. It would be just my luck.
"I'm sorry. I make a ton of drinks a day; it all kind of blends together after a while. Good news though, I found it! It's 1:30."
"Well, thank you very much..." he trailed off.
"Bella," I answered with a smile.
"Thanks again, Bella. Maybe I'll stop in again sometime," he replied as he turned and walked back down the beach the way he came.
A few minutes later I dusted myself off, took one last look at the beautiful water and headed toward job #2.
As soon as the director yelled "Cut!" and told us to take lunch, I all but ran off the set. I hopped in my car, smart enough this time to remember to bring a hat with me so I didn't have to wear a hoodie on the beach in the middle of the summer. Nothing screams 'actor' in LA like being covered up completely.
The drive up the PCH was nice, but all I could think about was one thing: Would she be there again?
I pulled off the road and parked the car in the street by the house I'd just bought. It should be finished by the end of the week, and then I had the tedious job of trying to move in without the paparazzi noticing. That was something I wasn't looking forward to doing, but it's just another hazard of the job.
I walked down to the beach and at first, I didn't see her. I started scanning the sand for her, turning my head in every direction. Then I spotted her. Today she was resting up against a palm tree, legs stretched out in front of her. She looked so peaceful, almost looked asleep. As soon as I laid eyes on her my chest felt lighter, and a small smile formed on my face. I felt my heart race and my breathing quicken at the mere sight of her. Why did this girl make me feel this way? What was it about her that made me happy? I must have stood and stared at her for five minutes trying to figure it out before I started moving.
The following day found me on the beach again, looking at the sailboats out on the water in the warm afternoon sun. I was glad I wore a tank top today under my Starbucks shirt. After hitting the sand I quickly stripped off my uniform in an attempt to get some sun. Being so fair skinned, I never tanned, but the sun felt great on my shoulders.
I was so lost in my thoughts didn't even notice him until he was standing right next to me.
"Afternoon, Bella," he said tipping his baseball hat. This guy must have a thing for hats, I thought to myself. He looked much more beach appropriate today in a short sleeve shirt and baseball hat. Thanks to that hat, I could get a better look at his face. He was seriously not overlooked in the hotter than hell genes department.
"Oh, hi," I replied, removing my ear buds and turning off my iPod.
"I didn't mean to disturb you," he apologized as he started backing up in an attempt to leave.
"Nah, I sit here pretty much every day doing the same thing... nothing, ya know, daydreaming. So, what brings you to the beach?" I replied, tossing the iPod into my purse.
"I escaped work to get some fresh air. Before I knew it I was down here," he replied, plopping down onto the sand near me.
"It's a great place to get away," I agreed.
We sat there and talked for what seemed like hours. I heard my phone chime, and I reached into my purse to grab it. As soon as I heard it I had a feeling I forgot something. I opened my phone to find a new text. Who would text me? I've never get texts unless my friends were drunk and needed me to help get them home. I quickly read the message "Where are you?" Then it came to me... I was supposed to be at work early to cover for someone. I frantically got up dusted myself off and said a hasty, "Sorry, I gotta run!" before I turned to see the bus leaving without me.
"Crap! Ugh, my boss is gonna be pissed... I was supposed to be in early today... and that was my bus." I tried to explain my hasty retreat.
"Oh, no problem, I can drop you off if you like," he said, grabbing his car keys and pointing to the shiny silver Volvo parked a little ways down the beach.
"You're a lifesaver; your next frilly drink with too many names is on me," I said as we walked to the car. He chuckled at my description of his favorite drink. I've never heard a laugh like his before. It made me smile just to hear it.
He opened my door and made sure I was safely inside before he rounded the car to the driver's side. Once inside, he started the car and pulled us out onto the PCH traffic.
"So, where am I headed?" he asked.
I looked down at my hands, already wringing in my lap. This was something I hated admitting. Not even my father knew the details of my second job. He just thought I worked at a restaurant; he didn't know I worked at a trendy bar like The Midnight Sun. Charlie would certainly never allow me to work in a place that resembled the movie Coyote Ugly.
"Uh, it's a bar on Sunset," I replied shyly.
The Volvo headed in the right direction, and we sat in comfortable silence. I had to admit the trip was much nicer with him than on the bus. His choice in music was remarkable. He seemed to have everything from classic to hard rock. I couldn't help but quietly hum along. He didn't feel the need to fill the silence with unnecessesary chatter.
Once we got toward all the bars, he slowed down and asked which one.
I took a deep breath. "The Midnight Sun; its right up here at the corner," I replied quietly. There was no avoiding the question. I could have told him a different one, but he was so nice to offer to drive me to work, I felt I should be honest.
"Oh," he said as he pulled over near the bar and put the car in park.
"Yeah, I know it's not my dream job, but it pays the bills. Well, that and Starbucks," I laughed.
"I just didn't expect…" he didn't finish.
"Oh no! Not me, I simply set up, stock and clean up after close," I replied, trying to steer the conversation away from the thought of me dancing on the bar. I'm sure I was a nice shade of tomato. "I couldn't do that, I'd fall right off. I'm not the most coordinated."
"Gotcha," he replied, sounding sort of relieved.
I grabbed my purse off the floor and turned to thank him once more, "Thanks again..." I trailed off, hoping he'd finally give me his name. He seemed to hesitate before he answered.
"Edward," he replied, looking down.
"Well, Edward, thanks again, and make sure to stop in for that drink!" I said as I got out of the car. He just looked at me and smiled.
"I will," he promised. He looked so familiar; it was driving me crazy, but I was so bad with names and faces. It took me weeks to learn my roommate's name in college. I was sure I didn't know him, so I don't know why it was bothering me so much. I turned around, happy that I finally had a name to go with the face and headed into work.
As soon as I walked in I saw Rosalie sitting at the bar. It's hard to miss Rosalie with her beautiful, long blonde hair and perfect tan. She screams Hollywood, and yet at the same time is very smart and down to earth. Rose was thumbing thru another tabloid... you could always count on Rosie to never be without one. It was quite ironic; she looked like a movie star and was completely obsessed with keeping tabs on her favorite celebrities. She's very contradicting; as soon as you think you've got her figured out, she throws you for a loop.
"Who's doing who now Rose?" I asked as I stowed my purse behind the bar.
"No one special," she replied, not lifting her head from the magazine. "There are some great pics from the set of some new movie, though."
"I'll never understand that. Why can't people wait till the movie comes out?" I replied, starting to fill the bottles behind the bar.
"Some actors are hard to find, so the paparazzi sneak onto the set and get their shots… it's more of a sneak peek than anything."
"What does it matter what some actor is doing? I saw a magazine once with a picture of some actor grocery shopping. So he goes to the store… who cares?" I asked.
"You're just not into the Hollywood scene." She answered as if that made all the sense in the world.
"I guess not," I said as I picked up the discarded magazine to wipe down the bar. The cover stopped me in my tracks.
"Who's that?" I asked.
"The guy on the cover?" she replied without looking up her cell phone. She must be tweeting again. That girl is addicted to Twitter. "It's Edward Cullen."
That was when I realized who he was. It was like someone took my palm and smacked my forehead. Duh.
"What's he in here for?" I wanted to know, quickly paging thru to find the article on him.
"It's his movie the pictures were from," she answered finally looking up from her phone. "Why?"
I just stared at her for a second. "Oh, I think he comes into Starbucks." I snapped out of my daze.
She just laughed, "Half of LA goes thru that Starbucks in a week sweetie. I wouldn't be surprised."
I went back to getting the bar in order, but my mind traveled back to the gorgeous man on the beach.
Earlier today I was sitting on the beach chatting with Edward Cullen... one of America's hottest actors. Part of me was excited, and part of me felt like an idiot... how did I not notice? No wonder he was so surprised I had no clue who he was!
As I said my name, I was sure she was going to figure it out. It amazed me that she hadn't already. As I drove away from the bar my mind was reeling with possibilities. Maybe she grew up in the area and was used to seeing celebrities. Maybe she lived a sheltered life and hasn't seen a movie in years. Scratch that. She works at The Midnight Sun; sheltered is not a word I'd use to describe her. There were many words I'd use; ones like beautiful, stunning, and endearing. There's just something about her that I can't get enough of.
I pulled back into the studio lot and made a decision. I'd be going to Starbucks in the morning.